More than 500 Catholics have been killed and 20 Catholic churches and church properties destroyed since 2009 by Nigeria's Boko Haram, a terrorist sect of Islam. These acts of violence occured in the northeastern sector of oil-rich Nigeria, according to Catholic Archbishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri.
Archbishop Doeme said that besides Boko Haram's animosity towards animosity towards all Christians, there are other reasons for the strife. "Corruption is the number one problem of the nation...the Boko Haram insurgency is a product of corruption. The Federal Government should fight corruption headlong."
"It is sad to see how few people are sitting on billions of naira" (the local currency) added Bishop Doeme. "The youths that are involved in Boko Haram activities could have distanced themselves from it if they were given opportunities."
In 2011, Archbishop Doeme denounced local politicians who cooperated with Boko Haram. "The involvement of some politicians in the sect is relevant since its founding. At first it was a group created to defend the interests of certain politicians, then it turned into a violent sect, but political connections have always remained." Observers note that since Boko Haram also attacks the local Muslim community, it can be concluded that sect pursues political objectives as well as the goal of imposing Islam upon non-Muslims.
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